Thangtong Gyalpo

Mongolian (Mongolian)
Early 20th century
Pigment on sized cloth
Image : 14 1/2 x 10 1/8 in. (36.83 x 25.72 cm)
Mat : 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
Object Number


Thangtong Gyalpo (ca. 1385-1464) was a Tibetan monk, artist and engineer who is said to have written several Tibetan operas, and built more than 50 iron-chain suspension bridges throughout Tibet. Thangtong is also said to have possessed and transmitted a potent long-life ritual derived from Amitayus Buddha and acquired through the intercession of Padmasambhava. This painting depicts Thangtong Gyalpo as a white-bearded holy man, wearing a robe trimmed with tiger fur and sitting on a blue antelope hide. His right hand holds a length of iron chain while his left hand holds a jar containing a long-life elixir. The image of Green Tara in the upper right corner reminds us that Thangtong was a man of action. The image of Ushnishavijaya in the upper left corner reminds us that he was also a longevity sage.  

Library of Congress Subject Headings
Buddhism [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh85017454]
Object Type